By Tara Yap
Iloilo City – The decision of Mayor Jose Espinosa III to allow the partial closure of a road around Jaro Plaza where there is a proliferation of thrift stalls and game kiosks has been criticized by several city councilors.
Councilors Joshua Alim, Plaridel Nava, R Leone Gerochi, and Lady Grace Baronda decried the closure as illegal, arguing a national road cannot be closed without a local ordinance.
But Espinosa defended his executive order, saying only half lanes are closed.
He also authorized to the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC-Jaro) to run an agro-industrial fair, a side event to the Feast of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria on February 2.
The mayor was lauded last year by Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo for clearing the plaza, which has become unkempt.
The Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena Foundation, Inc. had praised the mayor since a statue of the national hero had been surrounded by drinking joints and small thrift stalls.
Many see the partial road closure, will last until February 8, as the mayor’s political accommodation to ABC-Jaro.